l Chiostro boasts a long history, dating back to a point in the sixteenth century when St. Anthony’s Monastery was built on the ruins of a hospice that used to care for pilgrims and the sick in the thirteenth century.
Run by a small community of Augustinian nuns who decided to spend their lives there dedicated to work and prayer, the monastery became an integral part of city life for more than three centuries, until 1807.
A well-regarded historical text published in 2004, provides a picture of its secular history.
In 1808, the ownership of the buildings and land passed into the hands of the Müller-Sutermeister family from Zofingen, who were established operators in the Swiss textiles industry. In the space of a few years, the old monastery became a place of work and an expression of human ingenuity: the cotton factory was the first mechanical textile factory in northern Italy.
Due to a decrease in productivity, towards the end of the nineteenth century, the cloister entered a new, third stage: parts of the buildings were used as student accommodation for a nearby technical institute. This led to the creation of the Students’ House in the twentieth century.
The last transformation took place at the end of the last century, with the old monastery evolving once again, this time opening up to a specific local industry: tourism.
After five centuries, Il Chiostro has now become a place in which to reflect and enjoy a holiday, a peaceful haven for those who choose to experience life here for a while.